Small Solar Energy Systems

Background

Assembly Bill 2188, chaptered on September 21, 2014, makes various changes to the provisions of the Solar Rights Act, including a requirement that a city or county develop an expedited permit review process for small solar energy systems that is substantially consistent with the California Solar Permitting Guidebook.  A small solar energy system is defined as no larger than 10 kW for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems or 30 kW for solar water heating systems.

The Encinitas City Council adopted Ordinance 2015-13 on August 19, 2015, adding Chapter 23.13 (Small Residential Rooftop Solar Systems) to the Encinitas Municipal Code in compliance with the requirements of AB2188.

Expedited Permit Review Process

Permit applications for the expedited process for qualifying small solar energy systems can be submitted by email to [email protected] or in person at the Planning counter at City Hall.  Applications that are deemed eligible for the expedited permit review process will be reviewed and corrections will be provided to the applicant, or the permit will be ready to issue, within five business days.  Please see the Expedited Solar Permit Process Guide for a detailed discussion of the process.

Application Submittal Requirements

Required documentation for permit application submittals include a standard building permit application, a completed eligibility checklist, standard plan, structural criteria and supporting documentation, roof plan, elevation drawing and manufacturers specifications for the system components.  Links to documents for solar PV and water heating systems are provided below.

Building Permit Application

Solar PV Documents

Solar PV Submittal Requirements
Solar PV Expedited Process Eligibility Checklist
Solar PV Standard Plan Central (String) Inverter
Solar PV Standard Plan Microinverter and ACM
Solar PV Inspection Guide
Solar Structural Criteria

Solar Domestic Water and Pool Heating Documents

Solar Domestic Water Heating Submittal Requirements
Solar Domestic Water Heating Expedited Process Eligibility Checklist
Solar Domestic Water Heating Standard Plan
Solar Domestic Water Heating Inspection Guide
Solar Pool Heating Submittal Requirements
Solar Pool Heating Expedited Process Eligibility Checklist
Solar Pool Heating Inspection Guide
Solar Pool Heating Standard Plan
Solar Structural Criteria  

Related Links

Assembly Bill 2188
California Solar Permitting Guidebook
Encinitas Municipal Code Chapter 23.13
Governor's Office of Planning & Research - Renewable Energy in California
Ordinance 2015-13
Structural Technical Appendix for Residential Rooftop Solar Installations